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Thread: The Coming Privacy Storm Over RFID Chip

  1. #1
    Macht Nicht Aus moxnix's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Huson Mt.

    The Coming Privacy Storm Over RFID Chip

    This comes from a newsletter I subscribe to so I can't just link it, but I think it is something we all should be aware of.
    The Coming Privacy Storm Over RFID Chips
    by Mike Banks Valentine ┬ęCopyright 2004

    Consumers are being tracked, catalogued surveilled and their
    "data" is being warehoused, filed and mapped with increasing
    detail. This is happening without our knowledge or consent.
    This invasive spying is currently confined to loading docks
    at WalMart, Target and Metro Future stores, but is ready to
    follow you home if you aren't careful about RFID technology.

    RFID stands for Radio Frequency Identification and is a term
    that will become increasingly well known as usage of the new
    technology becomes pervasive. There is no question that the
    tiny chips, which enable tracking of physical goods from the
    assembly line to warehouse to retail outlet to checkstand,
    will replace the barcodes previously used for that purpose.

    Some RFID chips are so tiny, they are nearly indistiguishable
    from dust in many cases. Photo link:


    These dust sized RFID chips are capable of transmitting their
    own SKU (Sales Keeping Unit), the same info currently encoded
    in barcodes, distances of up to 20 feet to an "RFID Reader".
    But that's not all these diminuitive little chips can do. They
    are capable of sending a unique serial number that can identify
    the item it's embedded in - down to it's date and location of
    manufacture. Barcodes were limited to carrying information that
    identified classes of products. RFID carries information
    equivalent to the product DNA, while allowing a number for
    every item on the planet!

    When that item passes an "RFID reader" at the manufacturer's
    door, the tracking system knows the item has passed out of the
    building. Another reader signals that it has now passed into a
    train or plane to be shipped to a warehouse, where another
    reader tracks arrival and storage information, then successive
    readers know it passes to truck, grocery shelf, retail check-
    stand and out the door. All of this can now be accomplished
    without opening containers, leading to huge cost savings
    throughout the "supply chain".

    Privacy issues don't arise until consumers link that chain.
    Walmart is now REQUIRING their 100 largest suppliers to use
    RFID tags at the pallet level. Meaning that those tags are
    currently in use to identify and track groups of products as
    they arrive at the Walmart warehouse up until shelving at the
    giant retailer. Some products, such as Gillette razors, had
    been testing individual item tracking up until final sale
    and removal from the Walmart store. Privacy advocates slowed
    that practice by launching a boycott of Gillette.


    If the privacy concerns over tracking of a single product
    through the store to sale caused slowing of implementation
    of this technology, what can we expect when EVERY product
    is RFID tagged? There is no doubt this is coming and not in
    the distant future, but within the next 5 years or so. The
    US Department of Defense is now requiring ALL vendors to use
    RFID technology and embed tags in products sold to the US
    military by next year.


    Clearly there will be little or no outcry from military and
    government personnel about privacy invading technology since
    government is rarely expected to respect privacy "in-house".
    But if all military vendors are compelled to use RFID chips
    in every item used in every one of the millions of supplies
    sold to and used by the military - by next year, 2005 - then
    there is little doubt that the entire US goverment will soon
    implement this same policy for all items purchased by Uncle
    Sam and used by government employees.

    More and more giant retailers like Walmart are requiring
    suppliers to use RFID technology. The German chain Metro
    Group, which operates 2300 stores in Europe and Asia has
    demanded the same of their suppliers. Metro Group has gone
    even further with RFID to operate what they call the "Store
    of the future" where shoppers needn't remove items from
    shopping carts to pay for them. They simply pass by RFID
    readers and all items will be tallied and paid for. Metro
    stores provide RFID tagged "loyalty cards" to consumers
    that identifies those shoppers by reading within purses
    and wallets as those consumers enter and leave any of the
    2300 Metro stores.

    <> Business Week Article on
    Metro Future Stores Protest

    Target Stores announced this month that they too, would be
    requiring suppliers to RFID tag at the pallet and case level
    by 2005.


    Privacy loving Americans may not stand for the "Big Brother"
    implications of a system like that used by the German retail
    chain. An anti-RFID web site has been launched by privacy
    advocates and named "Spychips" for the ability of the chips
    to track consumers and link their buying habits to other
    personally identifiable information.


    A recent piece by technology commentator Jeffrey Harrow has
    a chilling description of how RFID technology might betray
    consumers movements and link their buying habits in a huge
    database. Harrow is a consultant and analyst of emerging
    technology. He often comments on privacy implications related
    to implementation of emerging technology.

    Harrow paints a harrowing picture of RFID readers.

    "The issue is that these many sensors . . . would also note
    the passing of your car key's unique ID; the unique ID of your
    driver's license, and even the unique ID of each and every
    dollar bill in your wallet. ... And if all the chains' main
    computers and those of smaller stores made this mass of random
    information available to say, a Marketing firm, or to other
    stores along your path (for a fee, of course), or to a
    government organization upon demand, then a very detailed
    picture of "You" - your travel habits, your spending habits
    (remember those individually tagged dollar bills?), almost
    everything about you, could be mixed, matched and dissected
    in ways that you might, or might not, agree with. This might
    be the ultimate "data mining" warehouse."

    <> Harrow Technology Report

    RFID is publicly discussed only by technology enthusiasts
    like Harrow and a few privacy advocates concerned about the
    implications of that "data mining warehouse". But as those
    RFID chips supplant barcodes over the next couple of years,
    we'll be hearing from privacy advocates when the Big Brother
    implications become clearer to consumers. Mark your calendar
    for early in 2005 and prepare to weather the coming storm of
    privacy concerns that could reach hurricane proportions.

    Mike Banks Valentine is a web journalist covering privacy
    issues where you can learn about
    Automotive Event Data Recorders or EDR's, Computer SpyWare,
    Identity Theft, Surveillance, HIPAA, COPPA, TIA, GLB and
    privacy implications of the USA Patriot Act.
    \"Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, Champagne in one hand - strawberries in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming WOO HOO - What a Ride!\"
    Author Unknown

  2. #2
    hmmm.. some good reading there..

    I guess this means I shouldn't shoplift laptops from walmart anymore ? (j/k)

    /me works on developing the RF jammer..

  3. #3
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    United Kingdom: Bridlington
    nice one jenjen!

    Isn't this just a replacement for the old C22-02 EEPROM chip? it is a proactive version?


  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2001

    RFID in the Homeless?

    The miniscule RFID tags are no larger than a matchstick and will be
    implanted subdermally, meaning under the skin. Data from RFID tracking
    stations mounted on telephone poles will be transmitted to police and
    social service workers, who will use custom Windows NT software to track
    movements of the homeless in real time. did come out on April 1st... I sure hope this idea is a joke, it would be horrible!

  5. #5
    Regal Making Handler
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    If your that paraniod, there is a company in America called??? sod it i'm not advertising for them. That manufacture a emi product, mostly gasket. That is a metalic fabrique over a sponge. This will reduce the emission of RF waves. Just get them to make you a shopping bag or bye a sheet of there matterial and make it yourself. Pop your goods in the afor mentuned bag and a way you go.
    What happens if a big asteroid hits the Earth? Judging from realistic simulations involving a sledge hammer and a common laboratory frog, we can assume it will be pretty bad. - Dave Barry

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